Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the saints. Ephesians 6:17-18
Welcome, New Believer! One of my favorite depictions of God's word is as a sword. As a child, we would have "sword drills" in my youth group where the youth leader would call out a Scripture reference, and whoever found it first won. It was a great way to learn how to find things in the Bible very quickly, what skill this would actually provide in the real world... I really don't know but it was fun! A much more difficult and important skill is learning how to take up your sword and use it properly.
This should first start with discipleship, which leads me to my daily reminder that this isn't a journey you should be taking alone. If you haven't yet found a mentor in the faith, continue asking the Lord for one, and reach out to your local church in search of someone to mentor you. It is so important to have a fellow believer who has had more time and experience in their faith to show you the ropes as it were.
Take Up Your Sword With Prayer
Just as you should not walk in your faith apart from other believers. You cannot be apart from the Spirit and be a Christian. As we discussed in the post on baptism, the only reason listed in Scripture for being re-baptized is if you have not received the Spirit. Becoming a Christian is not about a long list of religious rules and that's not the reason you should take up your sword. It is about your relationship with Jesus and no relationship is a one-way street. We are called to seek Him; in His Word, in prayer, and in worship.
In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us through wordless groans. And he who searches our hearts knows the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for God's people in accordance with the will of God. And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose. Romans 8:26-28
Take Up Your Sword Daily
A warrior in any time period would not be caught leaving home without their weapon. We fight a much more deadly enemy than one of flesh and blood, yet you will find many Christians (including myself) who struggle to be in God's word daily. Much like getting proper sleep, eating healthy, and exercising when I do what I'm designed to do as a Christian and feed my soul daily from God's word... I feel so much better! I am better prepared to face temptation, I am better suited to endure the minuscule trials of everyday life, and when truly bad things happen I have peace because God's promises are fresh in my mind and heart. Whatever time you have to do this whether it's when you wake, on your lunch break, or before you go to bed you will never regret spending time in God's word.
For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart. Hebrews 4:12
Use Your Sword
Carrying even a physical pointy sharp sword with you is fairly useless unless you know how to use it, especially if your enemy knows how to use it and you do not. Even when Jesus went into the wilderness and faced temptation, the way He combatted it was with the Word of God. Every day of this life as human beings we will face struggles and temptations. In the days of the early church and around the world even now, the choice to follow Christ is often a choice that leads to a painful and violent end.
Watch and pray so that you will not fall into temptation. The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak. Matthew 26:41
As you continue in the Word just as you are being disciples you are called to make disciples. One of the first places this begins is at home! If you already have children of your own. Teach them how to be in God's Word, model for them how to pray, and be an example of repentance. It is a rare thing to see in our society today, people in authority take accountability for their actions much less lay those actions at Jesus' feet and ask for His mercy. Think how it would transform our nation if we as parents are the first models of accountability and repentance in our homes.
And these words that I command you today shall be on your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise. You shall bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes. Deuteronomy 6:6-8
To make a long answer short, as with many things in life, taking up your sword takes instruction and practice. That instruction is another reason to seek out someone to mentor you in the faith and to gather weekly with your local church.
If you have any other questions about how to take up your sword (The Word of God), please feel free to leave them in the comments below. I highly encourage you to find a mentor in the faith who can help personally walk you through many of these issues as you grow into a mature believer. This is one journey you were never meant to take alone!